To successfully repair cars, you’ll need knowledge, ability, and tools. You can have all the know-how and capability in the world, but you won’t be successful working on cars unless you have the right vehicle accessories and parts.
Even though professional mechanics have massive tool collections with all the bells and whistles, nearly everyone starts with the basics. That is what is on this list. Before you get your hands dirty, ensure you have the necessary vehicle accessories and parts. Clean out the garage, buy a toolbox, and stock it with the items listed below.
The first category we’ll look at is hand tools. You’ll need the following vehicle accessories and parts for nearly every job when working on cars.
If you’re like most people, you occasionally require assistance in breaking loose stubborn nuts and bolts. A breaker bar provides that advantage by offering additional leverage.
You’ll need several different types of pliers to work on cars. Therefore, your toolbox should include the following pliers at a minimum: slip-joint, tongue and groove, needle nose, and locking pliers, also known as vice grips.
Traditional and dead-blow hammers
You’ll occasionally need to whack a car part or two into submission. For this task, you should have a traditional hammer and a dead-blow hammer on hand. A dead-blow hammer reduces the amount of damage done when striking a surface.
There are many different types of impact wrenches available nowadays. Pneumatic and cordless designs are available in various configurations and torque output ratings. However, a ½-inch pneumatic impact wrench and an air compressor are usually the best options for those just getting started.
Oil filter wrench
An oil and filter change is a basic automotive repair task that almost every do-it-yourselfer completes. However, unless you’re extremely strong, you won’t be able to remove the filter with your bare hands; you’ll need an oil filter wrench.
You’ll never understand the significance of a pick set until you own one. A small pick can assist in disconnecting an electrical connector, releasing a retaining clip, and much more. So always keep a set of small picks in your toolbox.
When you start working on cars, you’ll quickly realise the value of a good pry bar. You’ll need a medium-length pry bar in your toolbox as a beginner. As your tool collection grows, you can add various lengths.
Chisels and punches
Punches and chisels come in handy for several tasks when working on cars. Keeping different shapes and sizes on hand in the garage is a good idea.
Ratchet and socket sets
The most critical tool in your toolbox is undoubtedly a ratchet and socket set. You should have ratchets in each of the standard drive sizes, various extensions, and a complete set of sockets. A variety of Torx and Allen head sockets is also recommended. Metric fasteners are used in most modern cars. You might want to add standard (SAE) sockets to your collection later.
Always keep all the different types of screwdrivers in your toolbox, including flat head, Phillips head, Allen head, and Torx head.
Tyre pressure monitor
Tyre pressure impacts several aspects of vehicle performance, including handling, braking ability, and fuel economy. Use a tyre pressure gauge regularly to keep your car’s tyres properly inflated.
Torque wrenches are essential tools for people of all skill levels. In many cases, a nut or bolt must be tightened to a specific specification. You can do this with a torque wrench by applying a specific amount of force to the fastener.
Every mechanic requires a metric wrench set and, eventually, standard (SAE) wrenches.
To fix cars, you’ll also need a lot of shop equipment. You’ll need a jack, jack stands, and a toolbox to hold all your tools. The following are the essential vehicle accessories and parts any aspiring mechanic should have.
Although an air compressor is not required for a beginner, it does make working on cars much easier. For example, you can use your air compressor to adjust tyre pressure, operate a pneumatic impact wrench, etc. A compressor with four to five cubic feet per minute (CFM) capacity at 90 psi is required to run air tools like an impact wrench. Also, choose a compressor with at least a 75-litre tank size to reduce the time you spend waiting for the unit to refill.
When working in the shop, you never know what will happen. So always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
When poking around under the hood, it’s critical to see what you’re doing. A good flashlight will come in handy whenever you work on a car.
Drain pan for fluids
You’ll need a fluid drain pan every time you change the oil or do any work that involves draining fluids. It’s a good idea to get two drain pans for oil and coolant since the two fluids must be recycled separately. Drain pans that also serve as containers are handy. The design eliminates the need to transfer the fluid into a separate container before taking it to a recycler.
If you attempt to add oil or any other type of fluid to your vehicle without a funnel, you will almost certainly make a huge mess. You should use a funnel to avoid spills every time you top off your car’s fluids.
Jack and jack stands
A jack and a set of jack stands are required for any automotive task that involves going underneath a vehicle or removing its wheels. A good jack and jack stands will usually last for decades, making them an excellent investment.
You can’t just leave your tool collection strewn about the garage; you’ll need a toolbox.
When working on cars, safety glasses are required. Accidents are unavoidable, and you don’t want to jeopardise your vision.
When raising a vehicle and supporting it with jack stands, place chocks behind the wheels that remain on the ground as a precaution.
Access to a repair manual or a repair database
Modern automobiles (and many older automobiles) are far too complex to work on without the correct repair information. Therefore, when repairing a vehicle, always consult a repair manual or an online repair database to avoid wasting time and money and possibly getting hurt.
Diagnostic equipment can assist you in determining what is wrong with your vehicle. A wide range of diagnostic tools is available, but as a beginner, you should start with the following essential items.
Digital multimeter (DMM)
A basic digital multimeter can measure current (amps), voltage (volts), and resistance (ohms). That comes in handy when testing various circuits and electronics.
A mechanic’s stethoscope is an acoustic device to listen to parts of your car.
Scan tool or code reader
You must have a scan tool or code reader to work on modern vehicles. As a beginner, you should probably start with a code reader, which only reads generic onboard diagnostic (OBD-II) codes. However, you will eventually require a high-end scan tool. OEM scanners give you access to more information like manufacturer-specific codes, data, and bi-directional tests.
A mechanic’s toolkit is never complete
Your vehicle accessories and parts collection as a mechanic will never be complete. There are always new gadgets to add to your arsenal to help you do your job better and faster. While you can begin with the basics on this list, if you’re interested in car repair, you can expect a lifelong addiction to tool collecting. Before you know it, your tools will be worth more than the car you’re repairing.
Why choose AHK Motor Spares?
AHK Motor Spares stocks and supplies an extensive range of vehicle accessories and parts for more than 40 different makes of cars, bakkies, trucks, and SUVs. These products range from nuts and bolts, cleaning materials, gauges, lugs, socket sets, tool kits, safety equipment, etc.
Our vehicle accessories and parts are of the highest quality, ensuring that our clients can find dependable replacement body parts at reasonable prices.
Contact AHK Motor Spares for details
AHK Motor Spares offers the highest quality vehicle accessories and parts to solve our clients’ challenges. We have a network of branches across Gauteng and the Western Cape, which makes finding the right vehicle accessories and parts when you need them easy. Contact us today for everything you need to facilitate the right to repair.